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[Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience



So Michael, there was just that one occasion, in all your museum-going, when you had an experience. Was that planned? (I don't mean to say you haven't had a number of such experiences, Michael ... just some number actually)

Andy
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*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 17/07/2015 1:19 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
Hi Larry and all,

I think this is one of the most complex aspects of experience, what does he mean when he says you can't do things indiscriminately and have vital experience, but you also can't plan things?  I have discussed (argued) about this a lot with my students.  I have especially seen him raise this point in at least two of his great works, Democracy and Education and Experience and Nature - and again of course in Art as Experience (notice he is not saying how Art enters into experience but how art is experience - I have come to notice these little things more and more in his writing).

The difficulty we have, at least in the United States because of the dominance of the idea of meta-cognition, is that we too often translate what individuals are bringing in to experience to organize it as a form of meta-cognition.  It is kind of possible to make that interpretation from Democracy and Education, although what I think he is doing more is arguing against misinterpretations of his work as random, child centered activities.  I think he is clearer in Experience and Nature that we bring in who we are at the moment into the activity, and use who we are (I don't want to say identity) as an organizing principle for what we do.  It is perhaps one of the places where Dewey and Vygotsky are close.  Perhaps I can use the same Jackson Pollock example.  The first few times I saw his paintings I was trying to "apprecitate" them because I was told that was the best way to experience them.  Dewey says no vital experience there because my activities become stilted and artificia
  l.  Sometimes I went through the museum and just looked at pictures, one to the other.  No vital experience there, just random threads.  But that time I had the experience with the paintings I was allowing who I was, what had been built up in the trajectory of my life to enter into my experience with the painting, making it a vital experience.  I think Dewey makes the argument in Experience and Nature that it is not just the experience the moment before, but the experiences leading to that experience, the context of my life, of my parent's life, of a long line of historical experiences.

Anyway, my take.

Michael

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